Pushed and Non-pushed Speaking Tasks in an EAP Context: What Are the Benefits for Linguistic Processing and Accuracy?


  • Shelley Byrne University of Central Lancashire
  • Christian Jones University of Central Lancashire




Comprehensible Output Hypothesis, task effectiveness, language related episodes, second language acquisition


This article reports on a mixed methods study investigating the effectiveness of pushed and non-pushed speaking tasks in a UK university setting with upper-intermediate students. Specifically, the study addressed a) if a pushed speaking task produced more language related episodes (LREs) than a non-pushed speaking task b) the differences in the types of LREs produced by each task and c) whether a pushed speaking task resulted in more accurate usage of past narrative forms. Results showed that the pushed storytelling task produced significantly more LREs than the non-pushed task and it also identified that the most common LRE type for both pushed and non-pushed learners related to some form of output correction. The pushed group achieved greater accuracy gains from pretest and posttest scores but these gain scores were not found to be statistically significant. The study concludes that creating a push during spoken output activities can increase the occurrence of opportunities for linguistic processing, and subsequently interlanguage development, to occur.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.sal.0.24.6366

Author Biographies

Shelley Byrne, University of Central Lancashire

second-year PhD candidate at the University of Central Lancashire and has taught English in the UK and Spain. Her research interests include second language acquisition, spoken grammar, corpus linguistics and language testing.

Christian Jones, University of Central Lancashire

Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Central Lancashire and has previously worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in Japan and Thailand. His main research interests are in spoken discourse analysis, corpus-informed language teaching, lexis and the pedagogical treatment of spoken grammar.